Emirates Skycargo carrier plans to set up the world’s first cargo hub dedicated for potential COVID-19 vaccine distribution, by considering to reopen its SkyCentral terminal based at Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC), Dubai.
The carrier announced this in a press release on October 22, 2020. In order to consolidate cargo operations and reduce costs, the company has temporarily suspended all operations at the DWC hub since April 1, 2020.
The air cargo carrier stated that it plans to set the SkyCentral hub as the largest airside facility for cold chain storage and allocation point for the COVID-19 vaccine. According to Emirates SkyCargo release, the hub would enable the carrier to transport vaccines from manufacturing sites all over the world as well as to store them and prepare shipments for further distribution.
Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Group, said that the company had proper infrastructure and logistics connections as well as an appropriate geographic location for fluent vaccine storage and transportation.
“Over the years, through our continuous investment in capabilities and processes for the transport of temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals, Emirates SkyCargo has managed to position Dubai amongst major global pharmaceutical customers as the year-round preferred point of transit for their valuable cargo. Setting up a dedicated airside hub for COVID-19 vaccines is a keystone project harnessing our network, reach and competencies to positively impact the lives of people around the world,” said Saeed Al Maktoum in a press release.
Emirates SkyCargo announced that the SkyCentral hub at DWC has over 4,000 square meters of temperature-controlled GDP certified dedicated pharma storage area which would enable the company to store the vaccine in large quantities. The air carrier also stated that the facility is equipped with all necessary technologies to hold “10 million vials of vaccine at a 2-8 degrees Celsius temperature range at any one point of time“.